NFC West: 49ers Keep Seahawks at Bay with Win at New England

The San Francisco 49ers were in danger of blowing a 28 point lead at the New England Patriots on Sunday. Had the Patriots come back for the win, the Seattle Seahawks would be in position to move into first place with a win next week over the 49ers in Seattle. But that won’t be happening now, as the Niners kept their cool down the stretch with their rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick, while the veteran Patriots blinked, going for a fourth down on their own 12 yard line with over two minutes remaining and two timeouts in their back pockets.

Kaepernick broke the 31-31 tie with just over six minutes remaining when he hit Michael Crabtree on a 38 yard touchdown play to go up 38-31. On the ensuing Pats possession, they were faced with a fourth and one at the 12. Rather than punt and play defense, perhaps worried they could not stop the rookie 49ers quarterback and get the ball back, coach Bill Belichick decided to go for it. The Niners stopped them and took over on downs. This resulted in a 28 yard field goal from David Akers to ice it.

The 49ers have now clinched a playoff spot and with a win over the Seahawks or over the Arizona Cardinals will win the NFC West. If they win both games they will get a first round bye and host a second round playoff game.

The Seahawks routed the Buffalo Bills 50-17. If any team is playing better football right now than Seattle, it isn’t apparent. They led 31-17 at the half and then shut the Bills out in the second half. Seattle has now won 58-0 and 50-17 in their last two games behind their own rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. They have won three in a row and five of the last six. If the playoffs started now, they would be off to face the Green Bay Packers in the first round. Wouldn’t that be a fitting match up after the way the game ended the last time the two teams met in Week Three? Os Sunday, Wilson ran for three touchdowns and threw for another in the second straight Seahawks blowout.

The Arizona Cardinals stopped a nine game losing skid on Sunday with a win over the Detroit Lions 38-10. Credit should be given for a 38-10 win after suffering a 58-0 loss a week ago. That’s quite a turnaround for one week. Greg Toler returned an interception 102 yards for a Cardinals touchdown in the rout.

The St. Louis Rams ran into a buzz saw by the name of Adrian Peterson on Sunday in the Minnesota Vikings 36-22 win on Sunday. Peterson ran for 212 yards and is now 294 short of breaking the single season record set by Eric Dickerson with 2,105 yards. Peterson’s lone touchdown run of the day was a beauty from 82 yards. He also had another run of 52 yards. The Rams fell to 6-71 on the season, but the Vikings stayed in the thick of the playoff race at 8-6.


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